Here’s the deal. This blog post is likely not going to be the most complimentary to authors, and bloggers. I’ve been known to be honest, perhaps too honest, but we need to talk about all this! The intent of the post though is to try to find some common ground, and realize that we are all on this journey together.
We love you; readers, bloggers, other authors, we all love you! But sometimes you can be assholes. I’ll come back to that later.
We love you (a little self-love here); readers, authors, and even other bloggers, we love you! But sometimes you can be assholes.
**BTW, this is blog post is a reminder to myself, as well.**
Okay, now I have said it…let’s see what’s going on here.
There is so much tension, so much unsaid between authors and bloggers right now. And we need to get it out there, open up a dialogue, and realize that we are both doing the things we do because we love this genre, and we want to see it succeed, thrive and grow. However, sometimes those things cause that tension to grow, which benefits no one.
I’m going to start with bloggers, because I am one, and I understand a little of where they come from. Bloggers, you aren’t creating world peace. I had a trainer once tell me, “It’s just X…you aren’t changing the world”. Let’s remember, it’s just books, we aren’t changing the world.
You have every right to request things a certain way, it is your blog. If you want ARCs only sent as an epub, for instance, that is absolutely your right. However, it is certainly the author’s right to refuse that request, or to require that it be sent directly to your device. If you get mad, bash an author, even behind closed doors, you are doing yourself no favors. Work with the author, see if you can compromise. Demanding something, whether its an ARC or something else will give you a reputation you don’t want. Don’t demand something, act like you are bigger than you are, as if authors will not be able to move forward without you, and then expect to be able to get the things you request or want. Authors will talk. They will talk to each other and say “that blog is difficult to work with” or “blog A is much better than blog B because…”.
If you want an exclusive for your blog, ask. Sometimes you will get an excited “Yes!”, and that is great! Sometimes you will get a “No”. Respect that, understand that, then move on.
One of the things, especially in this genre, that we try to stop is bullying, right? We don’t want to see young LGBTQ kids bullied for who they love. As a blogger, don’t be a bully to authors. Demanding what you want or feel you need puts you in a bad place. Reputation is everything, good and bad. Everyone has one. What do you want yours to be?
Now onto authors. I will say the exact same thing. You are not changing the world. As much as you’d like to be seen as John Steinbeck or Jane Austen in 100 years, it isn’t likely. However, you are changing YOUR world, and that is very important. You are creating a place where you have income, and you have people who are excited and happy when you have a new book out. You want to write…a lot. Your readers want you to write…a lot. And bloggers want you to write…a lot.
That means you need to get the word out, and that is what bloggers do. Whether the blogs post a release day promo, a review, or they just go on social media and tell everyone about this great new book, their job is to tell people it’s out there. Which then leaves you to go and do what you want to do more of, write.
And “job” is a relative term. Book blogs don’t make much money, even the bigger ones. The smaller ones may not make any money, and quite often will put their own money into it. (To give you an example, I ran my blog for almost two years before someone finally told me about affiliates, so any giveaways that I put on that weren’t sponsored by authors, I paid for by myself. That is how many blogs operate.) So, authors, understand that. Sometimes you are asking for something huge, when bloggers may not have the time or the resources for it. That doesn’t make them a bad blogger. It may mean that they are overloaded, overwhelmed, and possibly even wondering if they should keep the blog going, because it is draining financially or psychologically.
**As an aside here, as of 3/1, Amazon has drastically reduced the affiliates program so that it is likely most everyone will only make ½ or less of what they made in previous months. So, if affiliates were a big revenue base to draw from for a blog, then their funds are cut at least by 50% or more.
Authors, remember that bloggers do what they do for FREE for you. You do not pay a fee to be featured on their blog (even if you are paying a promo company, they are not paying the blogs). You may be providing an ARC for review, and you may provide a prize or two, but in general, book blogging is done because bloggers love the books, love the authors they read, and they want to bring others into that realm.
In the end, it’s about mutual respect overall. Bloggers, don’t expect that you are the most amazing blog ever, and that authors should fall all over themselves to give you what you are demanding. Authors, understand that bloggers exist to benefit you, and be respectful of the time and hard work they put in.
Let the tension go! Know that so much of that attention is about trying to make sure you meet whatever goal you are trying to meet, and that on the other side, they are trying to do the same. We all want the books we love, and we want them NOW. We need to do our jobs to get them there, and be thankful, respectful and appreciative when everything comes together.